How to file a criminal charge without the police
There are times when a police officer may not arrest someone in response to your 911 call. It may be because the police officer has decided to believe the other side of the story, the police officer is not familiar with a specific law or just thinks that what happened is too small or trivial to make an arrest.
This can happen when you call to report a violation of a Protective Order, such as when an ex-boyfriend comes to your house when he's not allowed to under the Protective Order. Other examples may be when someone is harassing you on the phone, at work or on the street. A police officer may try to get you to drop the matter rather than arresting the offender.
If the Police Officer gives you the option to make the arrest, and you think that you or your family might be in danger, don't feel that you should just drop the matter. Demand that the cop make the arrest. If the cop will not make the arrest and you believe that a criminal charge is necessary in order to protect yourself or your family (especially when there is an Order of Protection), you can make the complaint directly with the office of the Bronx District Attorney. To make the complaint:
- Go to the Bronx District Attorney's office at 198 East 161st Street, Bronx, New York 10451 Directions to the District Attorney's Office
- Ask for the Citizen Complaint Unit.
- If possible, bring any witnesses with you. If they can't come, bring their names, addresses and telephone numbers.
- Bring any other proof with you. This may include photographs (even cell phone photos), video or audio recordings, telephone messages, any prior complaints or convictions for violations of a Protective Order.
- When meeting with the Citizen Complaint Unit, be clear about what happened and why you feel that you or your family are in danger. Explaining why the person is a danger is the most important thing to explain either to a police officer or to the Citizen Complaint Unit.